J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Lillebonne Castle and the Town ?1829

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 39 Recto:
Lillebonne Castle and the Town ?1829
Turner Bequest CCLIII 39
Pencil on pale cream laid paper, 107 x 156 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘39’ top right ascending vertically
Stamped in black ‘CCLIII – 39’ top right ascending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The page contains a sketch, drawn horizontally, of a castle on a hill overlooking a town nestled in a valley below. Turner indicates details of the castle buildings; with rougher, bolder strokes conveys the rooftops of the town; and merely hints at the church tower at far left. Finberg noted the subject simply as a ‘Ruined castle’,1 but the location of Lillebonne has been confirmed.2
The shapes of the castle buildings and church tower depicted render them identifiable as Lillebonne castle and the Church of Notre-Dame, Lillebonne. (For information on the castle, see under folio 29 recto, D23754; and for the church, under folio 28 recto; D23752.) This is the first in a series of similar sketches (folios 39 recto and verso, and 40 recto; D23774–D23776) showing Turner gradually approaching the castle and the church gaining prominence in the scene.
Finberg 1909, II, p.769.
?Ian Warrell, ‘Turner on the Seine: Topographical Index’, c.1999, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain (printout in copy of Ian Warrell, Turner on the Seine, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1999), p.3.
Technical notes:
There is a dark brown smudge on the left edge of the page.

Caroline South
May 2017

How to cite

Caroline South, ‘Lillebonne Castle and the Town ?1829 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, May 2017, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, November 2019, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-lillebonne-castle-and-the-town-r1195680, accessed 08 August 2020.